Alumni Spotlight – Mindy Derr

Hello there Buckeyes!  It’s time to feature another wonderful alumnus from your ranks for this quarter’s Alumni Spotlight!

This time our spotlight is Mindy Derr, an avid philanthropist who founded and now serves as advisor for OhioHealth Fore Hope.  Fore Hope is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses golf as an instrument for therapy designed to improve the lives of persons living with neurological and cognitive disorders.  Through this organization, which Mindy founded in 1989, countless numbers of patrons have reaped the therapeutic benefits of golf and had their lives forever changed by Mindy’s vision.

Mindy Derr – Community Advocate and Founder/Consultant, Fore Hope (OhioHealth Fore Hope) (1981 – BA, Communications)

 

My advice for anyone, regardless of their career path, would be to follow their dreams and their mission. Go for it, give it all you’ve got, and don’t refuse the calling on your life. Don’t stomp on anyone else’s dreams along the way, either. Be wise about everything. Specifically, if you would like to begin a career in the world of community advocacy and nonprofit, make sure that you surround yourself with people who can support your mission. Be sure that you have a circle that include people who know about taxes and accounting, that you’re building a succession plan, and more. Begin with the end in mind, and be smart enough to know that you cannot possibly know everything.

 

The CAR/PAR Method – Effectively Marketing Yourself to Employers

The world of the job seeker is a dynamic one, constantly evolving to keep up with changes in technology and the needs and desires of employers.  As the workforce changes, so must the ways in which applicants communicate to potential employers how they can best fit their needs.

We already know that your resume is a living document, and as such, it is regularly evolving.  More than a simple list of your prior work and education experiences, your resume communicates to employers the story of your professional development, including all relevant and important accomplishments you have achieved.

One effective way to realize this is to utilize the CAR/PAR method.  The acronyms CAR and PAR stand for Challenge > Action > Results or Problem > Action > Results.  This is an efficient and effective way to build your resume and practice answers for interview questions.

 Challenge/Problem:

Consider each job that you have listed on your resume – what were the most important tasks that you were given?  Then, reframe your thoughts a bit – every “task” can also be seen as a problem or challenge.  Think specifically about the important tasks that you have taken on – the ones that required true strategy and resourcefulness in order to solve.  These are the ones that employers are most interested in hearing about.

Instead of:  Accountable for sales quota

Try:  Tasked with maintaining accurate sales records for three sales teams

 

Action:

Now that you’ve identified the challenge, the next step is to spell out how you solved the problem.  You should be as concise as possible, stating simply how you were able to affect change for the better on your resume or to your employer in an interview.  This is the shortest part of the CAR/PAR statement, so be careful not to spend too much time on it.

ExampleDeveloped a comprehensive product library consisting of 4,820 models

                 Engineered and implemented company intranet using Google Sites

 

Results:

Now you’ve reached the important part – the section that employers care about the most.  You’ve identified your problem and talked about the action that you took in order to solve it – were you able to succeed?  Typically we call these your “deliverables” in your resume, and, where possible, they are quantifiable.  At a minimum, you should have five in your resume.

ExampleTasked with streamlining business operations, engineered and implemented user-friendly company intranet via Google Sites, increasing productivity and reducing data errors by 20%

Interested in trying the CAR/PAR Method while sprucing up your resume?  Check out the worksheet here for a little help!

Alumni Spotlight – Meet Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes

It’s time to spotlight another of our distinguished alumni!  Today, we feature Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes, entrepreneur and workforce development instructor.  Read below to learn more about her journey, how she came to choose Ohio State, and how that has impacted her career trajectory.

 

 

Job Search Tools You Can Use This Week – Part 1

Happy Monday all!  Here it a quick list of resources and tools to help you in your job search this week:

  1. – JobScan

JobScan.co is one of the top resources currently being used to help jobseekers here in the Office of Alumni Career Management.  JobScan is a versatile and intuitive software program that reviews your resume and compares it against the job description of your choice, reading it like an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Why it’s great:  Because most companies use an ATS in their hiring processes now, JobScan gives you an edge over other applicants by letting you see what an HR person will see when they review your resume.  This means that you can (and should) tailor it specifically to meet the needs of a given position – and JobScan walks you through exactly how to do that step-by-step.

Where you can get it:  Visit JobScan.co and create a free account to try it out today!

  1. – Canva

Canva is an easy to use and intuitive tool that allows you to create your own personalized graphics for use on social media and/or business cards.  This is an easy way to establish and maintain your personal brand, which is a huge asset whether you’re currently in the job search or simply looking to further develop yourself and your presence online.  Having graphics that are custom to you allows you to make an impression on those who interact with you online, and support a cohesive (and beautifully professional) brand image.

Why it’s great:  You can create beautiful graphics for social media and other personal marketing materials.  Plus, it is fast, free, and user-friendly, making it easy to use regardless of your level of skill.

Where you can get it:  Canva.com

  1. – My Next Move Interest Profiler

For those of you who have reached a point in your career where you are unsure about the direction that you want your career to go in, career exploration assessments are always a great option.  Most career consultant offices generally offer the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory as options to assist you in this exploration – at a cost.  Before you commit to the price of an assessment package, however, I suggest that jobseekers check out the MyNextMove Interest Profiler provided by Onet Online (a service of the US Department of Labor).  MyNextMove offers an assessment that is similar to the Strong Interest Inventory (I generally refer to it as “Strong – Lite”), and provides an interactive way to explore the career paths that are suggested by the assessment results.

Why it’s great:  It’s a free career assessment that allows you to do some in-depth exploration and get some ideas on potential paths that you might like to pursue without investing $100+ in paid testing through a career consultant.  It also connects to Onet Online, which provides you with the tools to not only explore the context of the many different career paths that are available to you, but also lets you look into salary expectations, job outlook for the next 5 years, type of education needed, and more.

Where you can get it:  https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip

Bonus:  https://www.onetonline.org/

 

Get started on putting these tools to work for you today, and be on the lookout later this week for Part Two of this series, where I will highlight even more great resources for your use!

Practicing Mindfulness at Work and at Home this Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and for most of us, this is a season that is filled with love and laughter, but also a great deal of stress and anxiety.  It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, where we have a tendency to spread ourselves thin with regard to our money, time, and energy.  However, this time of year is one where it is even more important than usual to practice mindfulness in order to be the best version of yourself, for yourself and for those friends and loved ones around you.  Here are a few ways you can practice mindfulness this holiday season and beyond, cultivating a clear head and peace of mind now and in the coming year as well.

Be Present

This is the first and most basic tenets of mindfulness – being present in the here and now.  At the root of it, this is exactly what mindfulness is.  Take time to slow down and not get ahead of yourself in your head.  Work to let go of thoughts about “what needs to be done next” or “how many more items on your to-do list that haven’t been checked off”.  Be in the present moment, with whomever you happen to be sharing it with at the time, and allow that to be enough.  What will be, will be, and you’ll be better prepared to handle it if you are able to go into it with a clear head instead of one that is clouded with worry.

Work on one thing at a time

In our culture especially, we have a tendency to glorify being busy.  We think that multi-tasking is just a way of life, and if you’re not juggling at least three things at any given point in time, you’re clearly not working hard enough.

Stop.  It’s a lie!

Try instead to “single-task” – that is, work on one thing at a time, and allow it to have your full attention.  You’ll find that by doing this, you’re more productive and better able to get things done, and you’ll likely feel less stress in the meantime.

Feel gratitude

Instead of focusing on the things that you want or need that you don’t currently have, take a little time out to be purposefully grateful for what you do have.  In the holiday season especially, it is easy for us to get caught up in wanting MORE – more time, more energy, more money, more stuff… But what if we took a moment or two to simply be thankful for what we already have?  Look for opportunities to feel grateful on purpose throughout your day and watch how much of an impact it has on your overall mood and outlook.

These are just a few quick tips to help you remain present and mindful as you navigate your way through this holiday season.  Wishing you all the best through the holidays and into the new year from your friends in Alumni Career Management.

Have a wonderful day!